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Our 'hard help' programme

Our 'hard help' programme

This is when we work with a secondary school or a sixth-form college, free of charge, for a whole academic year to either help create an allotment -  no matter what size - from scratch, or significantly develop a current school allotment. Due to very high demand, we politely ask schools and colleges to apply for this level of support by completing and returning an application form and a questionnaire.

Applications for our hard help programme are currently closed as we are fully booked for this current academic year (2020-21) and for next academic (2021-22). However, we offer continued support to schools throughout the year through our support network: The Butterfly Effect.

All applications for our 'hard help' programme will be reviewed and considered by our Board of Trustees. Following a successful application, a secondary school or sixth-form college will receive four months of intensive hard help (September - December or January - April). This will follow with support from our volunteers during the growing season (April - July) for the rest of the academic year. We offer this free of charge*. If you are interested in applying, please contact us.

Our 'hard help' programme provides:

Please scroll through images at the bottom of the page to see examples.

The Foundations

• Building raised beds, rainwater catchers, greenhouses and other features from locally-sourced recyclable and ‘upcyclable’ materials (e.g. wooden pallets; baths; old doors, fly-tipped tyres and other thrown away items).

• Organising donations of tools from families and others associated with a school.

• Making compost: we will share how you can make your own for free.

• Harvesting rainwater using tried and testing methods.

Creating spaces for reading, learning and storage. We have experience with ‘upcycling’ former vehicles (a horse box trailer and even an old bus!) to create these special zones.


Growing and using food

• Sharing knowledge of how to grow food and flowers; and maybe even the introduction of livestock.

• Creating an orchard, planting trees and hedges, sowing wildflower meadows to attract bees to aid pollination locally (if space permits).

Advising how a school kitchen can use the food produced.

• Preserving food, such as in jam and chutney, to use as fundraisers.



•Helping to make an allotment project sustainable; from volunteers to food production to finances.

•Sharing ways to ‘grow your own help’ - we can help you to connect with staff, parents and the local community to forge a shared responsibility for keeping your project going year in, year out.

*We will never charge your school for our services - we are a charity, not a business. However, as part of your formal agreement with The Papillon Project, we politely and respectfully ask each school to consider making a donation to us. We call this a ‘baton grant’ which means, after we have finished helping your school, you help us to continue forwards, helping other schools and colleges in Norfolk. We only ask schools on our hard help programme to consider making a donation.

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